Zot:5 is the final floor of the Realm of Zot. Part of the floor is similar to Zot:1-4, but the rest is taken over by the massive Orb chamber, one of several pre-designed vaults containing the Orb of Zot. Picking up the Orb allows you to ascend the Dungeon, escape, and win the game.
The Orb chamber is one of the hardest places you'll have to trudge through, barring some of the worst Ziggurat floors. It is almost entirely constructed of indestructible walls and has a layout that makes monsters likely to come at you in groups. These monsters include:
- Ancient liches: Very powerful spellcasters that can paralyse you, summon Tier-1 and -2 demons, and cast brutal Conjurations (Lehudib's Crystal Spear, Orb of Destruction, etc.).
- Orbs of fire: Fast, extremely durable opponents which inflict brutal fire damage and bad mutations.
- Electric golems: Extremely fast constructs that blink constantly and deal heavy electricity damage.
- Orb Guardians: Although fairly bland compared to everything else on Zot:5, these melee monsters are powerful, move quickly, and come in great numbers.
- Killer Klowns: Unpredictable blinking pests whose melee attacks can inflict a very wide variety of random effects.
- All manner of dragons and draconians.
Charging in is almost certain suicide. To succeed, consider your build and plan your approach around that. The rest of the page provides helpful information and outlines common strategies.
The following items, abilities, and intrinsics are recommended for surviving the Orb chamber. They are ordered in terms of importance. A more experienced player can clear the chamber with fewer, while a player who just reached Zot:5 for the first time will probably want to have as many of them as possible.
- High HP (Fighting skill), MP (Spellcasting, Invocations, or Evocations skill), experience level, AC, EV, SH, Piety, etc.
- Max fire resistance for orbs of fire.
- Ways to increase your damage output and mobility, such as potions of haste and might and several god abilities such as Okawaru's finesse.
- Electricity resistance for electric golems.
- High magic resistance for ancient liches (MR+++ or better to reliably avoid paralysis).
- Negative energy resistance and cold resistance for ancient liches.
- Potions of mutation for when Orbs of Fire inevitably malmutate you.
- See invisible for ancient liches.
- Optional: Darkness if you intend to sneak in attracting as little attention as possible.
- Clear Zot:1-4. This is optional, but it gives a large amount of experience and makes the ascension run safer.
- If you have one, use a scroll of magic mapping once you reach Zot:5 to see the layout of the chamber.
- Clear everything outside the chamber first. This section will be just like the upper floors of Zot. Doing this will make escapes much safer. If the level has permanent teleport traps, expect monsters to be scattered everywhere, including in places that you've already cleared!
- Killing off ancient liches should be your top priority.
- Buff yourself up whenever dealing with them. They can summon brutal demons with torment and damnation, or cast Iron Shot or Crystal Spear for massive damage. Some of the best ways of killing them are: good weapons of antimagic (a short sword of antimagic is not a good weapon) or holy wrath, Dispel Undead, Orb of Destruction, Shatter, Iron Shot, Tornado, Summon Horrible Things, Dragon's Call, or Shadow Creatures. If using heavy Conjurations, couple it with a Spellforged Servitor.
- Ideally you'll be able to kill any ancient liches before they summon too many demonic reinforcements. If they do get anything frightening out, remember that killing the summoner is the fastest method for destroying their summons. Attempting to flee by blinking is extremely risky, and by foot often results in death by torment and damnation. Don't let the liches last long enough to make this a problem!
- Remember that they won't cast anything if they can't see a target; try not to spend too long with them in your line of sight without attending to them. Melee characters will want to retreat around corners to force them into melee range, as rushing towards them gives them several turns to hit you with a crystal spear or summon fiends, not to mention the fact that you'll likely encounter even more enemies as you enter unexplored areas.
- Orbs of fire are next on the list (but if you're facing ancient liches and orbs of the fire at the same time, you should strongly consider making an escape). If you lack at least rF++, they can deal incredible damage very quickly, and they will almost certainly mutate you several times if you don't resist mutations. There's no safe way to deal with them, since they chew through most summons fast and resist almost everything. Melee fighters should use antimagic weapons to negate their attacks (if you haven't found one yet, freezing or vorpal weapons are your best alternatives). Conjurers should cast their most powerful non-elemental Conjurations, such as Iron Shot, Crystal Spear, Orb of Destruction, Tornado, Glaciate, or Fire Storm.
- Again, spellforged servitors shine here. Their elemental resistances allow them to soak a few orb of fire attacks without dying, their spells are nearly as potent as your own, and you can hide behind one to avoid any bad mutations reaching you.
- Whenever you come across a melee monster (Killer Klown, Orb Guardian, etc.), grab its attention and retreat to a safe place to kill it. Keep in mind that dragons and electric golems will shoot their breath/special attacks at you, so you may have to hide behind a corner to force it follow you.
- Speaking of Orb Guardians, they are fast and strong, but they can be confused. If you're about to be swarmed by a bunch, it's often a great idea to have them bashing one another instead of you.
- Moths of wrath may berserk monsters or you. Try not to be there when this happens to a pack of Orb Guardians.
WARNING: The strategies below call for specific abilities and tactics, and may not apply to your character!
Clear the Chamber Gradually
The most straightforward strategy is to simply walk into the chamber, wake up as few monsters as possible, then retreat and kill them one by one. Repeat. When exploring the two areas adjacent to the Orb's chamber, stick to the dividing wall, peek around the corner, and lure back anything you find. Approaching too aggressively will likely lure out more than you'd like to take on all at once.
Lure Monsters Out
By careful use of noise (shouting and spells are the most reliable means of generating this), you may be able to wake up a few monsters, get them chasing you, and run away. Note that due to the chamber layout and the patrolling Orb Guardians, this may be hard to do without getting swamped.
Go In With an Army
If you can, summon as many creatures as possible. You can then hang back as they fight the enemies. This may be accomplished in many ways:
- Divine companions: Angels and daevas of The Shining One, Trog's Brothers in Arms, Makhleb's Greater demons, Beogh's orcish companions, Qazlal's elementals, Yredelemnul's undead army...
- Summonings spells: Shadow Creatures is relatively low level, but very powerful (albeit short-lived) in Zot.
- The Demonic Guardian demonspawn mutation gives you demonic guardians when tension is high. Zot:5 qualifies.
- Why compromise? Dragon's Call: There is no substitute.
- Worshipers of Fedhas can grow an oklob farm and lure enemies to it.
It's worth noting that in Zot, almost any permanent servant will be annhilated quickly, especially when the orbs of fire start tossing around fireballs. Hordes of minions can certainly take down any given local, but you'll be going through a lot of minions! Since all of these units are fairly short-lived, this makes summons and divine companions much more attractive than the more "permanent" minions, as they depend less on limited resources like corpses.
Blast Your Way Through
A Conjurations specialist with a reliable means of recharging MP (potions of magic, Sif Muna's channeling, Sublimation of Blood, etc.) can often simply blast his way through with high-end spells like Lehudib's Crystal Spear, Orb of Destruction, Fire Storm, or Glaciate. This is especially true when you're accompanied by a spellforged servitor. Mind the noise, don't attract more monsters than your MP can handle, and don't be afraid to fall back and recover if need be.
Worshiping Lugonu can make rushing into the Orb chamber a much less daunting task. If you corrupt the level at the entrance of the left or right side of the chamber, you will likely break through a path to the Orb room and in the meantime create walls and demons blocking the path of monsters. Haste yourself if you have any potions left, rush past any remaining guardians, read a scroll of teleportation, and grab the Orb. If you wind up in a dangerous spot, teleport yourself again and hope for a better landing. If need be, banishing yourself to the Abyss can save your life and give you a chance to heal, but don't forget that you will return to the exact same spot you left from.
Shatter/Lee's Rapid Deconstruction
If you don't worship Lugonu, but can cast Shatter or Lee's Rapid Deconstruction, you may use them to dig through the shatterable stone walls. Note, however, that this is much slower and will make a lot of noise, enough to instantly awaken almost every monster on the floor. As a bonus, however, Shatter deals very respectable damage to most enemies found here (apart from orbs of fire). Once you clear a path to the Orb, grab it quickly and teleport away as described above. Zin's Sanctuary ability is a nice addition to keep you alive when all else fails.
Walk into the Orb chamber and try to stab any sleeping monsters (Orb Guardians, ancient liches, orbs of fire, etc.). If possible, cast Darkness to limit the number of opponents you have to deal with. Be sure to have a means of escape and make sure you are extremely stealthy if you want to try this approach. If an Orb Guardian wakes up, lure it outside the chamber before fighting it to avoid waking up any other monsters. When you're in sight of the Orb, grab it and teleport away.
Prior to 0.12, digging out everything outside the Orb chamber would increase the chances of landing somewhere safe after a random teleport.